Supervision as a selected instructional leadership behavior of elementary principals and student achievement in readin
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This study examined how principal supervisory leadership behaviors were related to student performance in reading, how the frequency, model and content of supervision differed between high and low performing schools, and to what extent elementary principals possessed a knowledge of reading research, methodology, and pedagogy. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Interactive Qualitative Analysis techniques were used to analyze processes and systems through focus groups and interviews. This methodology provided rich contextual data which were supported by findings from the quantitative portion of the study. The Principal Instructional Management Scale (Hallinger, 1985) was completed electronically by 484 elementary school principals in Texas, selected for the study based on the performance of their school over the past three years. Of those, 343 met all of the criteria for further review. Data from those surveys was analyzed using statistical measures to determine the relationship of gender, teaching certification, teaching specialization, and responses to the ten domains on the survey instrument reflecting specific instructional leadership behaviors related to school achievement as measured by performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. Four case studies were drawn from that selection of schools. Principals maintained logs of supervisory practices. Focus groups and principal interviews produced thirteen affinities of principal supervisory behaviors that supported higher levels of achievement in reading. System Influence Diagrams were produced to reflect the patterns of influence of each affinity. The findings revealed that there were differences between high and low performing schools in the content, frequency and model of supervisory practices, between the gender, teacher certification, and specialization of the principal and performance at high poverty schools, and in the principal’s knowledge of reading methodology, and knowledge of the achievement of individual students. Collaborative supervisory systems were in place at high performing schools; whereas, low performing schools were characterized by autonomy, devoid of substantive measures of supervisory practice. Based on these findings, a set of recommendations were proposed both to add to current theory on collaborative supervision and to practice for principals, for principal pre-service and inservice programs, as well as for principal selection processes.